Old Harry: The St. Lawrence Coalition denounces the behind closed doors negotiations between Ottawa and Quebec The creation of an Offshore Petroleum Board must be submitted to public scrutiny

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Nov 8, 2013 (3 years and 9 months ago)

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Old Harry: The St. Lawrence Coalition denounces the behind closed

doors
negotiations between Ottawa and Quebec

The creation of an Offshore Petroleum Board must be submitted

to public
scrutiny


Magdalen Islands
-

1st

March 2011
: The St. Lawrence Coalition challenges

governments of
Quebec and Canada so that they submit the creation of a

Canada
-
Quebec
Offshore

Petroleum Board to public scrutiny.

The Coalition

emphasizes that significant
independent commissions, set u
p in the United

States and Newfoundland, have
recently

questioned the ability of such offices

to ensure safe operations and environmental
protection. The

Coalition

asks the

Quebec government to condition the signing of
any

agreement with the federal to

the

results of its own Strategic Environmental Assessment
(SEA) as well as a

public scrutiny to allow improvement of such an agreement.


The Coalition

feels that an urgent intervention is

required when evidence suggests that
creating such an office will be an
nounced

shortly.

The recent comments of Minister

Nathalie
Normandeau to the effect that

negotiations with the federal government were going “very,
very, very well” and

the inaugural message of Jean Charest, who was

speaking last week
of

“finalizing an agre
ement with the federal government as soon as possible”

suggest that the
signing of an agreement is imminent. “We call on Ministers

Nathalie Normandeau and
Christian Paradis to condition the signing of any

agreement to public consultation” said
Danielle Gir
oux of Attention FragÎles.


The St. Lawrence Coalition reminds us that independent

commissions in Canada and the
United States, including the Wells Commission in

Newfoundland and
the

National

Commission

on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Offshore Drilli
ng

in the
United

States, have concluded that

to

empower a single agency mandated to promote oil
and gas

development while at

the same time regulating environmental protection and safety
of operations

creates a conflict of interest that should be corrected
.

“The current structure

of
the offices

makes them both judge and jury in the development of

the oil

industry in the
marine environment, a situation that has directly challenged

the safety of

operations

for the
protection of the workers and the environment
” said

Christian Simard of Nature Quebec.


According to the Coalition, the Wells report has

completely discredited the

Canada
-
Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C
-
NLOPB or Office)

by calling into
question

its ability to ensure worker safet
y and oil

operations in the marine

environment.

The
report also confirms that the establishment of an independent

structure to the Office is
required to ensure the safety of offshore oil

facilities and environmental protection.

“The
offices

must minimally
pass the

test of recent commissions of inquiry, which involves the
creation of

independent agencies to

ensure safe operations and environmental

protection"
said Karel Mayrand of the David Suzuki Foundation.

The Wells

commission was set up
following the cra
sh of an offshore

helicopter

transporting personnel and causing the death of
17 persons in 2009.


The Coalition considers that before any new Offshore

Petroleum Board

is created, deep
reforms must be undertaken to garantee

the safety of facilities and work
ers, as

well as the
environmental protection.

In addition to the failures noted in the Wells report, the

C
-
NLOPB

can substract itself from the Acces to Information

Act as well as to the

review of the
Auditor General of Newfoundland. “It is inconceivable th
at the

agency responsible for the
security of oil operations in the Gulf is not

submitted to the highest standards of
transparency, control and supervision by

the appropriate government agencies” added
Patrick Nadeau of CPAWS Quebec.


-
30
-


The

St. Lawrence Coalition

consists of 50 groups and

associations from various economic
sectors and nearly 1000 individual members.

The members of the Coalition call for
a

moratorium on exploration

and

exploitation of oil/gas across the entire Gulf of St.
Lawrence.



Sources :


Danielle Giroux

Porte
-
parole de la Coalition Saint
-
Laurent (entrevue en français)

Présidente, Attention FragÎles

418
-
986
-
6644 /

coalitionstlaurent@me.com


Catherine Orer, directrice des communications, Fondation David Suzuki

514
-
316
-
4646 ×104 /

catherine.orer@davidsuzuki.org



Chris
tian Simard, directeur général, Nature Québec

418
-
648
-
2104 ×2071 /

direction@naturequebec.org



Patrick Nadeau, directeur général, Société pour la nature et les parcs du Canada, section
Québec

514
-
278
-
7627
×226

/

pnadeau@snapqc.org